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3am Literature

Writing machines from remote territories

Following the publication of Kenji Siratori's Blood Electric (Creation Books, 2002), the Japanese cyberpunk writer perhaps pioneered a movement among all non-English speaking writers whose languages are radically dissociated from the dominant Latin-Anglo-Franco-German linguistic germ-line on the one hand, and are, on the other, enthusiastically seeking to contribute to the diversification of the English language whose centrality has already been sabotaged in the wake of emerging cyber-societies. In Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature, the French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari suggest that a minor literature does not belong to a minor language but a major dominant language in which one from another (less central) language writes, automatically sweeping the characteristics of the major language across new territories of linguistic anomalies; the writer becomes an insurgent, a restless itinerant between his or her own language and the major language. Deleuze and Guattari's most prominent examples are Kafka, as a Czech writing in German, and Beckett, writing in French and even English as an originally Irish writer. However Deleuze and Guattari's examples mainly remain within the dominant European languages with analogous structures, alphabets and phonetic systems. Now we are witnessing the emergence of writers from radically different cultures and languages within the English language without any prior linguistic domestication. They reinvent their infernal writing machines in English as the most dominant language - and consequently prone to becoming a hegemonic linguistic empire - undermining its centrality and violently turning it into a dark pool of diversification and anomalies. As in the case of Siratori, all exclusively Japanese stylistic movements bleed into the English language, infesting it with Japanese slang-style, an unremitting and impossible to be appropriated pandemonium of sounds, syntactic structures and flows of words. For Siratori's neuro/cyber-punk projects, this transition from Japanese - as a radically different language - to English is essentially similar to translating a violent and fully Japanese videogame (including its machine codes, bugs, and repetitive architectures) to literature, the English literature.

":://I torture the blood electric molecule/::bondage-script/of the human body - the medium of gene=TV - boy-roid nervous system that was murdered savagely>The masses of flesh that accelerated DOWNLOAD>>burn up the miracle of the assassin that was sent back out to kill in the blood stream of the zirconium acidHUMAN beast<<like a surgeon with the hands of God>>//" [1]

For an English reader, the result may look like an extreme techno-poetic performance, a techno-noir counterpart of works written by Antonin Artaud, Tel Quel poets and the Quebecian poet, Fernand Ouellette (Le Soleil sous la mort) whose poems envelop rabies from the end of the world. The following text is a hurried exploration of the anomalies triggered by Siratori's Japanese writing machines and techniques, not only within the English language but also text as a woven space ('textum'), appropriated for narration, authorial hegemony and mere economical communications which automatically repress all manifestations of excess.


Text as a technologic performance

Kenji Siratori's techno-vortical texts (Blood Electric, Human Worms, Smart-d, Headcode, et al.) similar to the most cryptogenic progressive writings exhume utterly original processes of text-composing but unlike other engineers of such texts whose economy of writing is secured within the organic body of spectacular interwoven plots or critico-manic's verbigerations about the Text itself, Kenji Siratori's writings deliberately, encipher (hollow out) a new artificial wiremesh on and through which the text is non-wovenly rendered, convoluted and recomposed continuously. The structure of Siratori's texts is the polymorphic structure of wiremesh (wireframe) in digital graphic and modeling; on one plane (2D), it is a perforated space constituted of wires or dynamic filaments, a trellis-like structure identical to the function of text as textum (a woven mesh) and trellis for supporting all the signifying processes at work, lines of narration, modulations, semiotic planes, etc. But in Siratori's writing, this dynamic trellis or wiremesh has not been rendered yet with a texture, it evades the hegemonic nature of text(ure) which turns a polymorphic surface to a restricted superficial entity appropriated for accumulation, projection, signifying and economical communication (thus essentially conservative). On the other plane (3D), the wiremesh is an entity occurring in several distinct forms at one time: a volume, a surface, a soft exoskeleton which facilitates movement rather than restricting it (as in the case of the authority that an internal skeletal structure imposes on a moving body), a holy space and an autonomous convoluting line which relentlessly recomposes itself in space. The wire-mesh space of Siratori's writings, by means of its spatial anomaly and composition, at the same time wastes away all theoretical pseudo-fluxes or lines of narration (Siratori's textual maelstrom supports nothing external to itself) and evades an organizational formation which is frugally conserved and accumulated through the text to be economically distributed on orthodox uniform planes as plot lines, channel regimes for transferring the directorship of the Author and security systems which protect the repressive wholeness of the text. In terms of Siratori's writing, text as an architecture (even a progressive one) is an egocentric disease which should not be purged but bombarded, stormed and infested by new enraged plagues; it should be turned into a xeno-bacterial hive out of which an autophagic text is born.

The hegemonic Voice (call it the voice of pharaoh, father, author, God) lurking in all texts and the bureaucratic structure of plot is the immediate consequence (an architectural symptom) of Text as textum (woven space) or an inter-weaving process of informational fibers. But Siratori's wire-mesh writings (similar to a videogame full of bugs and programming glitches) engineer a new workspace potential for the rise of new lines of communication, compositions and complexities.

"I suck the disillusionment-module of the murder-protocol data=mutant processing organ to the nightmare-script that was send back out the era respiration-byte of her abolition world-codemaniacs emotional replicant technojunkies' DNA=channel acid ****the surrender-sites of the ..." [2]


What is Text (texere: to weave)?

Siratori's hazardous textual experiments (the Guinea Pig series of technology) have a counter-question for this rancid interrogation: why should I think of a text as a textum (an ever-weaving space)? Isn't a woven text more suitable to fabricate a toilet tissue?

By becoming an "involuntary host" (Stelarc) for the fluid compositions and lines of communication, Siratori's wire-mesh writings deliberately immerse themselves into the artificial non-woven spaces, or more precisely, text not as woven structure but a non-woven space.


The Non-wovens (the non-woven text)

The non-wovens obliterate the Platonic and Cartesian textual grids which root in weaving techniques and woven spaces (following Deleuze and Guattari's remarks on the weaving model as a paradigm of Plato's Royal Science [3]); their composition does not require the regulatory conversion of fibers to yarn and orderly woven threads. The non-woven texts are engineered or made out of the non-woven fibroids (dis-)corded and composed by adhesion, friction, welds and artificial nexuses (and not inter-weaving), all bringing a particular intimacy to the fibers and filaments which does not allow the activation energies of synthesis or interweaving bonds to pass but installs zones of conductivity for potentially limitless lines of communication and animorphic processes which constantly keep the text (as a non-woven space) under mutations, vermiculations, irreversible metamorphoses and paroxysms, flushing the text to utterly alien zones where the text itself - stripped from its lines of narrations, plots and authorial voices - is programmed for an unthinkable 'performance' which can pebblize everything into shapes of inhuman perfection (with which Siratori's writings are overwhelmed).

Non-woven texts can also be delineated by their super-conductivity, passing traffic zones of data smoothly from one point to another without notice and with minimum entropy (a process which is usually blocked by the regulated striated space of the woven texts). As in the case of Siratori's writing, this characteristic renders the body of the text cloudy and gaseous as it is always ready to fly, departing from the gravitational pull which binds it to literature or even poetry, all genre establishments.

Another manifest characteristic of Siratori's texts is their wild openness and hollowing out processes working on all layers of the writing. Despite the nonstop, unremitting prose style which relentlessly regenerates itself machanically, the text is constituted of a compositional structure which can be restlessly reinforced by new compositions, new text-pieces, data-flows and textual fibers. Siratori's texts are compositional anomalies (every composition is a pestilential anomaly) marked by terminal multiplications, structural proliferations, self-scarring processes and reinforcements of new textual compositions. This feature turns Siratori's texts into ciphers (Safira: hollowed out) or cored-out spaces - not empty and blank - anarchitectural bodies under the blitzkrieg of textual compositions and lines of writing which are embedded into anything already rooted in the text, making new compositions within them ... compositions within compositions within compositions, ad infintum (a pool of diversified(ing) textual possibilities; non-woven spaces are the avatars of Depth as the Abyss). Siratori's texts auto-liquidate their cores and constructions (by which they can be identified as literature, poetry, graffiti, data-logs, etc.), engineering labyrinthine hollow spaces which do not restrict the emergence of textual compositions or lines of writing. Here, the non-woven spaces - through which Siratori's writings recompose themselves - correspond with Stelarc's multi-functional entity, Hollow Body, "an involuntary host for alien agencies" [4]. Alan Sondheim, too, hints at the affinity between Blood Electric and Stelarc's performances.

In Siratori's writings, one does not need to track one textual fiber to another to forge the text and simulate a sense of narration (the symptom of the traditional inter-woven text) and emphatically keep the text consistent by moving systematically on textual threads; quite contrary, one has to irresistibly 'jump over' (mutate) the textual fibers or 'dig through' (vermiculate) the holey space of Siratori's wire-mesh writing. In either case, jumping or crawling (two modes of reading or engagement with Siratori's texts), the reader experiences collisions, mutations and contagious vectors which form the very body of Siratori's works. Mutation is the delirium of crossing and jumping over dimensions and forging dynamic lines without a trace; mutation transgresses dimensions by bumping them into each other, introducing collapse to them and sabotaging them with implosion. Mutation is a terminal tactic constituted of epidemic jumps (identical to the rat flea), acephalic movements, twitches, descents and trackless steps; the dynamic continuity it maintains is not based on the tyrannical logic of woven-spaces (textum), restricting dimensions or the illusional continuity that the voice of the Author counterfeits. To this extent, Siratori's texts all flow through an anomalous continuity which is engineered by the terminal dynamism and delirium of mutations emerging from the text as a non-woven space. Mutation is not only a tactical movement for escaping the tyranny of woven-spaces, their gravitational pull and sedentary formations, but also the intrinsic dynamism of the technology itself. "There is no mutation for humans other than mutation with technology." (R.U. Sirius) [5]

Unlike Burroughsian texts which become techno-oriented reports through their analytic encounters with technology (whether on an anti-transcendental level or not), Siratori's works are technologic not by means of their contents, subject matters, or by defending or criticizing technology, but because of the direct reciprocation with their machinic structures and entire writing-spaces which are, themselves, technologic phenomena (the non-wovens, wire-mesh writings, mutations, encipherings and escapes from the architectural regimes of writing in general).

"//I murder her hydromaniac brain circuit::it is invaded by the hologram=body fluid that a data=mutant outputs to body-OMOTYA of the ultra=machine universe of the Cadaver City::the mass of flesh-module of the parasite drone that inaugurated mimic mode::searching for grotesque proteins in the subterranean anus world of a succubus cemetery//" [6]

Engaging with such texts as Blood Electric, Human Worms and Smart-d, one can regard Kenji Siratori as a mech-warrior, a neuro-programmer, not a writer in a conventional sense; he writes (programs) the text as technology.


[1] Kenji Siratori, Blood Electric, Creation Books, 2002, p. 107.
[2] Kenji Siratori, HUMAN-WORMS, iUniverse, 2004, p. 92.
[3] Deleuze, Gilles, Guattari, Felix, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, 1987.
[4] From an interview with Stelarc in, Homo-stasis, ed. Reza Negarestani (unpublished). See also: Stelarc, Remarks on Hollow Body, available online here.
[5] From an interview with R.U. Sirius in Homo-stasis, ed. Reza Negarestani, (unpublished).
[6] Kenji Siratori, Blood Electric, Creation Books, 2002, p. 138.


Reza Negarestani is an Iranian theorist and writer. He has participated extensively in online theoretical projects since 2000. He is the co-founder of and a regular contributor to Hyperstition, a research group developed through the synthesis of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) and his online theoretical project, Cold Me. His articles can be found at CTheory, Hyperstition, Cold Me, Channel 83, and elsewhere.

Kenji Siratori's online home.

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